In Lebanon, fighting between Syrian troops and rightist militiamen has spread from Beirut to village areas in the north.
In Lebanon, fighting between Syrian troops and rightist militiamen has spread from Beirut to village areas in the north. According to the Falangist Party, Syrian peace-keeping forces shelled three villagers near the coastal town of Batroun at the weekend (August 25 - 27). The same source said the least 65 people had died in the fighting and another 40 were missing, presumed detained by the Syrians.
SYNOPSIS: Rightist militiamen and Syrian troops have been engaged in a series of increasingly violent clashes since the end of the 1975-76 civil war. The Syrian peace troops are now considered an army of occupation by the rightists who claim that up to 15,000 Syrians are in the Batroun area alone.
The latest fighting reportedly forced thousand of people to flee to safer coastal towns, and renewed fears among Christian residents of Beirut of further clashes in the city.
But tension eases and relative calm returned to the area after President Elias Sarkis conferred with the commander of the Arab Deterrent Force and the Falangist Party Deputy for the area. The urgent talks brought an apparent ceasefire to Batroun and surrounding villages.